NSW Cup Match Report: Mounties perfect start continues
Mounties have kept their perfect start to the season in tact with a classic come from behind win over Newcastle to make it six from six in the VB NSW Cup.
With the loss of Kyle O'Donnell and Gus Aiga from the team it was always a difficult task for Mounties to keep their unblemished record going and the Knights weren't out to make it easy.
In the 5th minute the Knights made it 4-0 when Tuimavave crossed in the North East corner with the conversion going wide.
A few minutes later Tuimavave was in again in similar fashion to make it 8-0, again the conversion missed the posts but it was all Newcastle and Mounties looked shell shocked by the lighting start.
In the 14th minute it was de-ja-vu for the home team when Mamo crossed in the same corner however the conversion was waved away and Newcastle led 12-0 and were entitled to feel a bit perturbed at their inability to kick a goal.
Bill Tupou got the home team on the board when in the 18th minute Dave Cahalane made a break and in the process of going for the line he flicked the ball out the back and Tupou was on the spot to collect the ball and get over the line to make it 12-6 with the Mitch Cornish conversion.
Four minutes later Kurt Baptiste levelled it for Mounties when he took advantage of some tiring defence to dive over virtually untouched from dummy half next to the posts to make the conversion a simple one and Mounties suddenly found themselves level at 12 all.
In the 30th minute Mounties looked to have gone ahead on the scoreboard when Mitch Cornish put some nice footwork on the defence and cruised over however the try was called back for an obstruction and from the ensuing penalty the Knights marched down field and after a second penalty they were able to find the try line to make it 16-12.
In the final few minutes of the half Clay Priest made a big break up the middle and put Mitch Barnett into the clear but he was unable to hold the pass and the try was bombed, then just minutes later Pat Mataele made a busting run and offloaded to Dave Cahalane but again the pass went to ground and in the space of minute two tries went begging with the Knights taking their 16-12 lead into the break.
The second half commenced and play went end to end with both teams searching for a break but it was Newcastle who took the ascendancy when they crossed for a try in the 64th minute and after finally being able to kick a conversion they led Mounties by 22-12.
Mounties never say die attitude then came to the for and just minutes later it was Baptiste who again found a hole in the middle of the ruck from dummy half and he was able to dive over under the posts to make it an easy conversion and Newcastle's lead was cut to four, the Knights leading 22-18.
In the 71st minute it was all Mounties when they pressed the line and forced a line dropout and from the repeat set Mitch Cornish threw a cut out pass that bounced nicely into the arms of Wayne Dargan who strolled over to make it 22 all with the kick to come and Cornish was able to cooly slot the goal from near the sideline to take the lead for the first time in the match 24-22.
Mounties then held on with the Knights throwing everything at them in the final minutes to no avail.
Best for Mounties were Priest, Baptiste and Mataka up front while Bill Tupou, Mitch Cronin and Jack Ahearn were all solid out wide, Kurt Baptiste earning the RadioHubAu Man of the Match.
In the Ron Massey Cup Mounties ran out convincing winners over the Western Suburbs Magpies by 40-6 while in the Sydney Shield a depleted Mounties team went down to the Magpies by 17-16.
Mounties 24 (K Baptiste 2, B Tupou, W Dragan tries; M Cornish 4 goals) bt Newcastle Knights 22 (J Mamo 2, C Tuimavave 2, J Allison tries; T Randell goal)